We just launched a new online parenting forum on our website, with the idea of encouraging our readers, followers and all parents to discuss ideas and issues with one another. We hope to also make this forum truly useful to parents by getting experts to answer any specific queries they have, besides the on-going discussions between parents themselves.
I sometimes meet people who believe that the current generation of parents over-analyse parenting, obsessing about every little detail, constantly questioning themselves and always looking up info. “Parenting is instinctual,” they say. “Why should someone else tell me how to parent? My parents and grandparents did not read manuals, they just knew what to do!”
“Fair enough,” I always tell them. “But our parents were parents in a completely different time.” We as parents today are challenged on all fronts – lack of time, juggling multiple roles, we live in nuclear families and bring up kids without the help of extended family, not enough social support, children who are exposed to much more than we ever were, globalisation…. I could go on. For the factors that are changing all aspects of society are changing the structure of the family and parenting principles as well.
What do you do when you want to find the top-rated restaurant in the city? You Google it!
What do you do when deciding where to go on vacation? You discuss with your friends for recommendations and check out what TripAdvisor has to say.
What about when you want to buy a new phone?
When we can look up info on and take advice from all and sundry for things as unimportant as where to eat or which gadget is trendy, why should it be any different for the all-important task of parenting?
When you meet your friends, don’t you talk about what your kids are doing at school, and how difficult it is to deal with their tantrums or demands? Don’t you ask advice and discuss everything from diaper rash to college applications? Well, picking up a parenting magazine, going online to a parenting website or having discussions in a forum is just an extension of that.
You hope to read what other parents and experts have to say and glean some insight into how you can deal with a similar parenting problem. You hope to get tips from people who have been there, done that, and see if it works for you. And most of all, you just want to know that what you are facing is nothing extraordinary, that other parents go through the same troubles every day.